We recommend that you arrange for someone to help you at home after you are discharged from the hospital. A case coordinator will assist you with your discharge plans. If you are considering going to a nursing home after your hospital stay, keep in mind bed availability at each facility varies, and you may want to contact the facility of your choice and place your name on their waiting list prior to your admission to the hospital. A social worker will assist you in placement arrangements if it is determined you are unable to return home.
If you have any questions or concerns about your discharge plans/arrangements during your hospital stay, please ask your nurse to speak to the Case Coordinator or Social Worker. They will assist you.
- We ask that you please attend the total joint replacement class offered by St. Cloud Hospital held every Wednesday at 3 p.m.
- Continue normal activity unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
- Please begin your iron pills and your iron supplemental diet as directed by your doctor.
- Read the brochures given to you at the clinic.
- A registered nurse from the Center for Surgical Care will call you before your surgery to confirm the time you should arrive, review any special instructions and answer other questions you may have.
Please do not eat or drink after midnight unless told otherwise -- this includes water, sucking on candy or chewing gum and tobacco. On the day of surgery, take only the medication the doctor or nurse has instructed you to take with a sip of water. No smoking 24 hours prior to surgery is recommended.
Make a list of all medications you are taking, dosages and times that you take them. Bring this list to the hospital with you on the day of your surgery.
Please arrive on time and register at the Center For Surgical Care located on “A Level” near the “A” entrance of the hospital. Your nurse will review your health history, take your temperature, pulse and blood pressure and perform a brief examination. Your nurse will review the procedure with you and talk with you about any fear or concern you might have. Be sure to tell your nurse if you have any pain or discomfort. Your nurse will teach you how to do ankle exercises, cough and breathe deeply. You will be shown how to use an incentive spirometer, which expands your lungs and assists you to cough and breathe deeply.
Your nurse will scrub your surgical hip with betadine soap and put an elastic stocking on your non-surgical leg to prevent swelling and blood clots. You will be asked to empty your bladder just before it’s time for surgery. If you have glasses, hearing aids, dentures or rings, they will need to be removed before surgery. An IV will be started and you will be given an antibiotic just before going into the operating room.
You will first go to the recovery room following surgery (you may not remember this room) and then to your room in the Bone & Joint Center - 6 Northwest. You may have a tube coming from your incision to a container to collect blood for one or two days. Your surgical leg will be in a knee brace and the other will have elastic stocking on it. Your vital signs and blood loss will be monitored closely. You will be reminded to cough and breathe deeply, to use your incentive spirometer, and to do ankle exercises every two hours. Your knee may be placed in a continuous passive motion machine in the recovery room and begin exercising your knee.
You may receive pain medication through an IV for the first night. Pain pills will be started in addition and used to meet your pain goals. Your doctor will resume your regular medicine. You may not have feeling in your legs for several hours after surgery if you have had a spinal anesthetic. You may not feel if your bladder is full, therefore, your nurse will check your bladder with a scanner to make sure it is emptying completely. You will have a clear liquid diet (broth, juice) on your surgery date and quickly advance to a regular diet if you are not nauseated. Your IV will continue for one or two days until you are drinking enough. Your nurse will monitor how much you drink. You will be on bed rest on the day of surgery.
On the morning after surgery, the physical therapist will see you to help you move your knee and a motion machine will be set up for your knee if not done the day of surgery. This slowly and comfortably moves your knee to prevent stiffness. By the end of the next day, your knee should easily move to an “L” (90 degree) angle. The machine is used three times a day for one hour in duration. Your knee will be put in a brace to keep it straight at night.
The nurse and nursing assistant will help you into a wheelchair on the day after surgery. You will sit up twice that day. A Physical Therapist or Physical Therapist Assistant will continue to see you twice a day for exercises, walking, practice getting into and out of bed, and to review precautions for moving your knee. Walking may be started in between two railings (parallel bars), and then progress to using a walker or crutches. They will teach you to walk up and down stairs, as you need. Most patients continue to use a walker, but some do use crutches.
A Registered Nurse Case Coordinator will be involved with the coordination of your plan of care and will be available as needed to answer your questions. A Social Worker is also available to meet with you or your family members regarding any discharge or financial concerns.
By the time you are ready to leave the hospital you can expect to:
- Be walking by yourself with a walker or crutches.
- Know how to climb stairs alone or with help.
- Know the exercises that you will continue to do at home.
- Be able to get into and out of bed alone.
All of these instructions will be written down for you.
If you have any questions, please contact the Bone & Joint Center, the Center for Surgical Care or your provider.